Post Natal Goals

April 29, 2017


As physiotherapist, ex-athlete, fitness professional and mum of 3 I’m very practiced at goal setting when it comes to my multiple journeys back to fitness and that of my clients. You’re probably familiar with the concept of SMART goals, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. This structure can be applied to the return to fitness and the post natal journey.


Your goal should be something you want to achieve… something you feel strongly about, YOUR goal. Not something you think you or someone else thinks you SHOULD achieve. If you dig deep you know what you want to do and who you want to be. This could be anything from wearing a pair of shorts and a vest confidently in the summer to competing at your previous level at your chosen sport. It’s all possible depending on what you put in.


As a physiotherapist we love measuring stuff! We enjoy seeing improvements and proving it with calculated measures. So make a training diary and embrace filling it in!, use a tape measure to see your shape return, or time your runs using a fitness accessory.  


This is a biggie! I encourage people to set their goals low, not because I’m a glass half empty kinda gal. This is why… so many people promise me they will get up at 5am (before the kids wake) every morning to do a workout despite not being a morning person. It’s unlikely you’ll achieve this and therefore give up and feel bad. Instead plan to do 30 minutes every day while the kids are sleeping, watching TV or eating dinner, that’s much more effective than 90 mins once per week because you failed to get out of bed on the other mornings.


As above, think more along the lines of the end goal. If you’ve never worn a bikini on the beach or played netball this may not be the best goal for you (although never say never).  Being realistic means you know with a little hard work you’ll get there because you’ve been there before. You can always set a new goal once the first is achieved.  With one week to go before your beach holiday you may not get that toned bod you’re looking for or beat your 10k PB 3 months after your first child is born. These to me are 1 year post-natal goals.


That brings me onto timing. Set your time scales realistically, as stated above you must think carefully about how long things take to change, when you had your baby and whether you are you still breastfeeding. It is also important to acknowledge what the challenges are and how they will that will slow you down. How much help do you have? Do you have other children? Is there a crèche at the gym? Are your kids happy with carers? What are the potential setbacks? Illness, sleepless nights, partners traveling and holidays. Include them in your timescales, give yourself a break and don’t try and workout on Christmas day/ when you’re full of cold!

Basically, go easy on yourself! Don’t set yourself up for failure, celebrate the small wins and don’t underestimate the challenges of being a mum. My main piece of advice is do something every day and don’t overlook the impact of even a 10 minute workout!



Pilates for Athletes

June 2, 2016
Firstly I bet each and every coach has been told their athletes need to do Pilates and every athlete has been told at some point in their career that Pilates would help either after injury or to enhance performance.

I also believe that most of you have resisted doing it! and I don't blame you!! I have been a serious athlete and have been a physiotherapist for as long as I remember and I have certainly questioned its place and effectiveness within elite sport. 

So... why did I doubt it? 

Before d...
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Why Non-Impact HiiT-Pilates?

May 21, 2016
Non-Impact HiiT-Pilates

What is it? 
HiiT- Pilates is a typical 'HiiT' workout of 3x 30s bursts of 5 different High Intensity Exercises. The Pilates comes in during the 'rest' periods in-between the 30s bursts. The purpose of the Pilates is to connect with the core muscles during the rest in order to use the body more efficiently during the High Intensity Bursts. The Pilates Exercise is always relevant to the movement pattern needed for the HiiT Exercise. 

What is Non-Impact HiiT Pilates? 
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Fitness Whilst Travelling

May 14, 2016
Many people I treat travel with work and it seems to be a real issue with maintaining fitness. Routine is a very important factor that encourages people to maintain regular exercise and regular exercise is the key to getting fit, staying fit and loosing weight.

So if you travel a lot then it may be a good idea to introduce some hiit workouts without the use of equipment that can be done anywhere.

HiiT - Pilates is a workout that has 2 elements... The HiiT element is a high intensity exercise wh...
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Pilates for Neck Strength

May 7, 2016
In my pilates classes I like to work on abdominals intensively and safely to fatigue.
When doing crunches the overall aim is to shorten the distance from the front lower ribcage to the front upper pelvis. These muscles become long and lower in tone with pregnancy, weight gain and poor posture. Variations of a crunch with the deeper activation of the transversus abdominus (corset muscle) will help to shorten and tighten this area.

However! I'm constantly told that people struggle to get a 'burn'...
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What is HiiT - Pilates and Why do it...

April 25, 2016

What Is HiiT Pilates?
HiiT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. When I first heard of HiiT Pilates it made me think of some form of manic high speed pilates class with flailing arms and legs. As tempting as that sounds - that is not the case at all. 

HiT-Pilates combines the High Intensity Exercises for 30 seconds with a Lower Intensity Pilates Exercise in the 'rest' period . The Pilates Exercise helps to align the body and engage the core for the next High Intensity Ex...

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Flexibility and Strength after Abdominal Surgery (including C-section)

April 24, 2016
After being cut open through the lower abdomen - whether it is to insert a new kidney (yes! a kidney transplant is housed in the pelvis!) or a more common c-section... the lower abdominals will be cut through. This will mean that no matter how long you wait those muscles will not 'come back to life' naturally. You will need to work on them. 

Initially you will need to convince the muscles to switch back on. The body has a frustrating habit / mechanism of switching off stability muscles specifi...
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How to stay young

April 11, 2016
The recent BBC documentary 'How To Stay Young' has prompted me to write about the age predictor
 test that is described nicely in they article.

The wonderful thing is that if you score low on this age predictor test you can improve it and improvements in the test do correlate with a longer healthier life. 

As a physiotherapist and pilates instructor i see people of all ages and fitness levels improve their posture, mobility, strength and stability...
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Indoor / Outdoor Exercise?

April 7, 2016
I was asked recently to answer some questions on what I think about exercise sessions taking place inside to loud music with encouragement from those teaching the sessions. These sessions are significantly different to my garden based Pilates and HiiT Pilates workouts. 

The articles for VICE can be found at this link

After trying an intensive cycle session the journalist asked me why she was in such pain after the session.

I answered... I think your thighs were ...

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Exercising whilst breastfeeding

April 2, 2016
Exercising whilst breastfeeding can be a thankless process. You may be doing it to loose weight, feel better, gain energy, have some time to yourself or just because you feel like you should. 

Everyone reacts very different to breastfeeding just as they do to pregnancy. Some put on weight whilst breastfeeding and can't loose it until they stop, others have painful joints because of the continued relaxin release in the body and some just have very hungry babies who 'take everything' on each fee...
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